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26682 MARGH 1930


No. 285.


April 3, 1837.


Of the majority of the commissioners appointed to dis

tribute the increased capital of the Jefferson County Bank, with accompanying documents.



The undersigned, commissioners (being a majority) to receive subscriptions and distribute the increased capital of the Jefferson County Bank, would beg leave respectfully to represent:

That an inquiry has been instituted, under the direction of the committee appointed by your honorable body, of which the Hon. Mr. Talmage is chairman, into the legality of that distribution, and into the conduct of the said commissioners.

That the first information your petitioners had that such inquiry had been instituted, was on or about the 25th day of February last, when they understood that I. H. Bronson and John Macomber, esquires, had received a commission from said committee, directing them to examine about thirty witnesses upon interrogatories in the county of Jefferson.

That your petitioners deemed that the appointment of these gentlemen was unfair and unjust towards them, as Messrs. Bronson and Macomber were both of them deeply prejudiced, and entertained towards your petitioners unkind if not bitter feelings, on account of said distribution. That Mr. Bronson was one of the directors of said bank, and brother-in-law and law partner of the [Assem. No. 285.)


Hon. M. Sterling, at whose instance, your petitioners were informed, said proceedings had been instituted—both of whom were among the foremost of those who denounced your petitioners and condemned them; that Mr. Macomber was the father-in-law of the Hon. Mr. Tamblin, a member of said comınittee; that Messrs. Sterling, Bronson, Macomber and Tamblin, were among the dis- appointed applicants for said stock.

That your petitioners, ascertaining the fact that Messrs. Bronson and Macomber were proceeding to examine witnesses against your petitioners with closed doors and in secret, without any notice to them, and without affording the commissioners an opportunity of being present and being heard, applied to these gentlemen by a respectful letter, a copy of which is annexed, marked A. desiring a postponement of their examination until your petitioners could be afforded an opportunity to make an application to the said committee for the right or privilege of being present and having such examination public, and allowing them also to cross examine as well as introduce witnesses.

That your petitioners received for reply, a letter from Messrs. Bronson and Macomber, conditionally granting such time until the succeeding Monday, a copy of which is also annexed, marked B. That immediately on the receipt thereof your petitioners drew up and signed a petition to the said committee, asking these privileges, a.copy of which is also hereunto annexed, marked C., which petition was forwarded by Dr. Lowrey Barney, who had been subpænaed personally to appear before the said committee at Albany, and who was then on his way thither, and by whom the same was handed to said committee. In answer to which, a letter was received from the Hon. Mr. Talmage, by mail, under date, Albany, March 3d, 1837, refusing the prayer of said petition, on the express ground that the proceeding was in behalf of the people against the bank, and not the commissioners.

That the denial of their indisputable right, allowed to the humblest citizen of this State, of not being condemned without a fair trial and an impartial hearing, your petitioners felt much disappointment and surprise, the more especially as this proceeding against the bank, as it was alleged, was conducted in part by Mr. Bronson, one of the most active and efficient dire ctors of that institution itself.

But this surprise was much increased, on receiving by the same mail a letter from the Hon. Mr. Tamblin, a member of said

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